Pumpkin Person rating: 8/10
Written and directed by Lawrence Michael Levine, Black Bear is an abstract funny art-house movie that my co-workers and I watched over the weekend. It is extremely challenging, requiring above average verbal IQ, an above average social IQ, and an above average IQ. In addition to these three cognitive requirements, you also need to be upper class. Sadly, there are many people in the comment section who are culturally and neurologically incapable of enjoying such high-art. The idea of commenters Mug of Pee or Philospher watching this movie is just ridiculous.
The film is about Gabe (played by Christopher Abbott from HBO’s Girls) and Blair (Sarah Gadon), a couple in their thirties who despite having low income, are snobs because they are aspiring artists. But they live in a beautiful lake house in the Adirondack Mountains where they rent out a guest cabin to supplement their low incomes, and to allow them to meet artists (who are the only people they will rent to). They end up renting the cabin to Allison (Aubrey Plaza from Parks and Recreation ) , a thirty-something film maker. Allison senses that Blair is threatened by her sexiness and high IQ so she complements Blair on her looks and pretends to not know what solipsistic means, despite having attended Wellesley College on a scholarship.
As the tension between the three main characters builds over a long dinner, the film suddenly reinvents itself completely and everything is the opposite of what is was before. Can’t say much more than that without ruining the twist, though sadly, the twist will fly over the head of 90% of Americans.
What makes this film work is the gorgeous secluded setting, the strong performances by the three leads, and above all, the witty dialogue. Levine has a great sense of humor and a good understanding of marital conflict and hipster culture. Watch preview below: